A Little Talk on Adamkiewicz's Artery. Some Practical Considerations on the Pre-Operative Identification of this Artery Starting from a Single Team Experience in Pre-Surgical Selective Embolization of Vascularized Spinal Lesions

Stafa, A.; Barbara, C.; Boriani, S.; Simonetti, L.; Leonardi, M.
April 2010
Neuroradiology Journal;Apr2010, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p225
Academic Journal
The major radicular artery eponymically named "Adamkiewicz's artery" (AKA) is an important vessel supplying the spinal cord, especially the lumbar enlargement. This report emphasizes the importance of anatomical knowledge of this artery and highlights the concept of the potential risk of neurological complications during different procedures: spine orthopedic/neurosurgery, aortic repair (vascular surgery) and endovascular selective embolizations performed by interventional neuro/radiologists. Anatomical considerations are made on the spinal cord arterial circulation with a special focus on the AKA. Our review of the literature considered this anatomical element essential to compare the potential risk of spinal cord ischemic damage during orthopedic/neurosurgical spine procedures, aortic vascular surgery repair procedures and endovascular selective arterial embolizations. Evaluation of the endovascular selective arterial spine embolization risk was based on our series of 410 embolization procedures. Spinal cord infarction and transient or permanent paraplegia may result from inadvertent interruption of the AKA. The presence of intersegmental collaterals may decrease the risk of spinal cord ischemia: this is an important element to bear in mind that may help in spine surgery or aortic repair procedures performed by vascular surgeons. Nevertheless, during aortic repair (open surgery or stent-graft procedures) interruption of bilateral segmental arteries at multiple consecutive levels including that of the AKA may occur thereby increasing the ischemic spinal cord risk, annulling the benefit of intersegmental collaterals. Accidental embolizations of the AKA during endovascular spine procedures (i.e. selective arterial embolizations) performed by interventional neuro/radiologists will cause an almost certain spinal cord infarction due to the consequent embolizations of the anterior spinal artery (ASA).


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